SportVerse Podcast

How IndiGG is leading the charge to develop the Play-to-Earn gaming model in India

The nexus between Sports and Business.

According to a November 2021 report by BCG and Sequoia Capital India, monetisation of the Indian gaming market is already in excess of $1.8 billion with more than 400 million people already playing online video games in the country with the industry set to triple in size by 2025.

Last year was an important year in the growth of gaming in India with a new format of gaming because a new concept of Play-to-Earn gaming started gaining traction with several gaming firms eyeing a piece of the market.

So, what are Play -to-earn games?

Play-to-earn games are based on blockchain technology and allow users to earn digital tokens or assets for playing games which they can sell either within the game or outside the game for real-world money.  Users typically need NFTs to participate in these games.

According to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, 90% of the games in the market will be P2E games in the next five years. 

This creates a good segue to India’s leader in the Play-to-earn space. But before we get to that part, let me tell you a bit about Yield Guild Games.  YGG is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for investing in non-fungible tokens used in virtual worlds and blockchain-based games. The organization’s mission is to create the biggest virtual world economy, optimizing its community-owned assets for maximum utility and sharing its profits with its token holders.

What’s important is to understand that several guilds have subDAO’s for each game that is customised to focus on specific activities and assets of a particular game. While each subDAO has its own rules and conditions, they contribute earnings to the larger guild.

This is where IndiGG comes in. IndiGG is a Sub-DAO of Yield Guild Games (YGG) with an aim to create a Play-to-Earn gaming hub within India.

Now coming to the big story,

Last week IndiGG secured a $6 million seed funding from  Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Animoca Brands.

There are a handful of Angel Investors including  Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard, Nazara Technologies CEO Manish Agarwal, Hungama Digital Media CEO Neeraj Roy, Mobile Premier League CEO Sai Srinivas, WazirX cofounder Siddharth Menon, AngelList India’s Utsav Somani, DreamWorks founder Nameet Potnis, and WinZo CEO Paavan Nanda are also participating in the financing. 

How is IndiGG utilizing the funding?

IndiGG will use the funds raised to focus on “several key areas to fuel platform growth and onboard Indian gamers to the web3 world of play-to-earn”. The proceeds will also be used to expand the team, local awareness of the play-to-earn model, and organise community events.

IndiGG will soon support NFT assets for play-to-earn games such as Axie infinity, Pegaxy, Fancy Birds, Nyan Heroes, and Nitro League before onboarding new games for the Indian market.

It will also provide scholarships to community members “who’ve shown dedication to the guild and potential to excel in a certain game”. This will enable members to rent the NFT, enabling them to start playing without having to buy the NFTs.

IndiGG is being built in association with Polygon (a secondary scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain) to create a Play-to-Earn gaming hub within India.

Polygon Studios and their ecosystem of Web3 games — including Zed Run, Skyweaver by Horizon Games, Decentraland, and Decentral Games — will ensure new IndiGG players (scholars) have access to the latest releases.

Is the IndiGG funding a one-off? Not really! Earlier this week Bangalore based nCore Games raised $10 million in Series A funding to expand its properties into metaverse and non-fungible token (NFTs) as well as launch new games in the Web3 and play-to-earn space. The round was led by Galaxy Interactive and Animoca Brands with participation from Polygon and HyperEdge.

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Nilesh Deshmukh
I am passionate about sports and passionate about marketing. As a sports marketer, I have built significant expertise in successfully delivering medium to long term digital marketing strategy for global sports entities and brands like Arsenal FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC, Major League Baseball, Formula E, and AELTC, etc to engage with their fans in India. I am currently based in London and lead India business at Engage Digital Partners.